Questions from SAC Inservice

Lesson from the Edge Accomplishing goals
Lessons from the Edge-Accomplising goals image
Chris Chairsell

Vice President Academic and Student Affairs

Template Design:  Jim Johnstone, Curriculum Support Services

NOTE:  Curriculum Support Services has scheduled a workshop with Dr. Ruth Stiehl this term, December 1st, 9:00-1200, CPWTC, for PTE faculty to gather with Dr. Stiehl and review and revise AAS Degree and Certificate outcomes.  The plan is for faculty to bring current Program, AAS Degree and/or Certificate outcomes for SAC discussion and approval.

A second workshop with Dr. Stiehl is scheduled for December 8th, 9:00-1200, Sylvania (TBD) for any faculty who want to refine course level outcomes.  This also is a working session with Dr. Stiehl and you should be able to leave with course level outcomes completed, or a very good start on the process.

Contact Nellie Long to register (nlong@pcc.edu).  Additional workshop times/dates are being scheduled with Dr. Stiehl, once these are confirmed, Rick Aman will let us know.  Feel free to contact Rick Aman (raman@pcc.edu), or Susanne Christopher (schristo@pcc.edu) for any further information.

And now……the questions from SAC-Inservice:

  1. Are SAC minutes from every department available/ accessible electronically?

    No, they are not. Currently SAC’s are asked to keep minutes of all SAC meetings.  What happens after that appears to be one of those “cats” (remember the In-service video?).  Some SACs send the minutes directly to my office, others send them through their Administrative Support.  I would ask that every SAC forward their minutes to Nellie Long (nlong@pcc.edu). She is building an archive.  I have asked my staff to design a website for SAC minutes to be posted and archived.  This is in the process of being designed.  Hopefully I will have more information on this project during Winter Term.
  2. In what state is the PT insurance plan?

    There is no group health insurance plan offered for part-time faculty by the College.  The Joint Committee on Insured Benefits (JCIB) is in the information gathering stage on possible options.  Implementation of recommendations of the JCIB, if any, is subject to the collective bargaining process.   Through bargaining in 1996-97, the College and the Faculty Federation established an Insurance Reimbursement Trust Fund.  The Trust is funded by the College and administered by the Faculty Federation.  The College contributed $232,000 to this fund in FY 2006-07.
  3. How do the issues of diversity, equity and cultural competency addressed at each level of today’s suggestion?

    This question can be answered from both a staffing and curriculum perspective.  I was delighted to see a large body of diverse faculty assembled for the first time in PCC’s memory.  The different approaches we take to implementing strategic plans and procedures, either as individuals or as members of organizational entities like the EAC, are predicated upon authentic dialogue and collaboration.  Diversity, equity and cultural competency are the foundations upon which we build our relationships, continue the dialogue and thoughtful action.  Cultural competency continues to be encouraged to be included within our coursework.  There is a growing emphasis in this organization, through curriculum development funding and international education, to strengthen and grow our efforts in internationalizing our curriculum.
  4. What’s a SAC?

    Subject Area Curriculum committee – Handbook:  Subject Area Committees (SACs) are composed of all faculty who teach in a PCC subject area or program, and address the instructional and curriculum concerns of their respective disciplines. These faculty-driven committees represent and articulate those subject areas and program issues which are defined by the PCC Mission Statement and College-wide Core Outcomes, and the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges.
  5. If you have waitlists that are the same size as a class, is it guaranteed that you will find new sections based on full (or close-to-full) wait lists?

    The change in waitlist procedures are designed to assist students in the enrollment process and to provide departments with information about “enrollment demand”.  Whether or not funds are available to offer additional sections of courses with full waitlists will be determined at a department or campus base level.
  6. Will there ever or are there plans to increase the IT support and college/ banner technology access in proportion to the increasing number or MAC users?  How and when?

    With the re-organization of technology support staff, we are starting to build a larger pool of expertise for supporting Mac users.  In addition, as we move forward with college technology, we are giving priority to technology that is “platform independent” – that is, it will run successfully on any desktop – PC or Mac.  It is difficult to give an exact timeline when you will see results from these efforts, but it is something we continue to work toward (remember the plane).
  7. Almost all of our students this year indicated they got their information about our program from the PCC webpage.  There are inaccuracies and/or outdated information on our program on our web page.  Yet when we attempt to find someone who can update this info, we get referred to someone else.  Why does it take so long to get the webpage updated?  Just who do you go to who has the responsibility to actually get the job done in a timely manner? No run around answer please.

    The Web Team cannot make changes to the catalog, schedule or curriculum data without approval from the Curriculum Office.  If there are minor corrections needed use the "send corrections or feedback" link found at the bottom of most web pages or email webteam@pcc.edu.

    If a change is more substantive send the requested change to Stacey Timmins (stimmins@pcc.edu) who will forward the requested change to the appropriate point of contact such as Curriculum and/or Degrees and Certificate Committees or my office depending upon the issue.
  8. Asked in a friendly yet serious manner.  When is the college going to realize that when college-wide academic software is purchased, serious consideration needs to be given to special needs (i.e. special word processing needs) for science and math departments?

    It is difficult to answer this without more specifics.  We agree that these needs are important and should have serious consideration.  It is important that such needs are expressed and clarified when purchasing decisions are being considered.  Sometimes the best value on a college-wide basis is not the best application for a specific function.  In these situations, we would hope to work with you on other ways to support those needs on a localized basis.  Your best resources for making these needs clear are your campus technology managers:  Lucy Currey – Sylvania – 503-9774386 – Gary Eaton – Cascade – 971-722-5765 – Craig Londraville – Rock Creek – 971-722-7205 – Carol Squire – ELC - 971-722-2719.
  9. How are we as a SAC supposed to write an outcome based COG when a college-wide committee has just been convened to define what an outcome is and how many outcomes a course should have and the state is mandating unknown common discipline-based outcomes?  Seriously!

    PCC’s self-study and the NW Accreditation findings concluded that we need to reinvest in this area.  We are doing this in multiple arenas and in a several phase process.  This academic year, the EAC Curriculum Committee and EAC Degree/Certificate committee met with Dr. Ruth Stiehl and developed PCC guidelines for Course and/or Degree/Certificate Outcomes. Their intent is to provide assistance to faculty as they develop or revise course outcomes or degree/certificate outcomes. These documents will be available by the end of fall term. Dr. Ruth Stiehl will be conducting workshops for interested faculty to attend and work on course and/or certificate/degree outcomes.  For more information on these workshops or to enroll, contact Nellie Long (nlong@pcc.edu ).
  10. Are we the ship or the lighthouse?

    We are both.
  11. Online instructors are asked to list course outcomes in the syllabus while it is optional for traditional courses.  Should outcomes be a part of every syllabus?  There seems to be disconnect between online and classroom courses that should be addressed to promote consistency.

    The EAC recommended information which is required for a syllabus and which information was optional.  This recommendation was approved by the President and the recommendation was placed in the Academic Handbook.  I agree that there should be consistency between online and traditional courses, including outcomes.  The Academic Handbook will be revised this year by the Academic Standards and Practices Committee – Porter Raper is the Chair.  Your question is timely and attention will be paid to this issues.  The current policy is:
    Required Content:
    • College name and address
    • Instructor name
    • Instructor office location, availability, and phone extension
    • Course Title, number, CRN number, credits, meeting time and place.
    • Term and year
    • Course description
    • Course prerequisites, if any
    • Instructional materials, (e.g., textbooks, supplies, equipment)
    • Major assignments (exams, essays, projects)
    • Tentative calendar, if appropriate to the course
    • Grading criteria
    • Attendance and make-up policy
    • Instructional Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) statement, (see page 1 of the Faculty/Staff Handbook 2002-03)
    • Flexibility statement (e.g., "Assignment/exam calendars may be changed in response to institutional, weather or class problems")
    Optional Content:
    • Instructional approach/theory
    • Campus resources available
    • Equal opportunity statement
    • Statement specific to course content
    • Cheating/plagiarism statement
  12. How is PCC responding to “outsourcing” used by big corporations?  Will PCC be preparing students toward this global move?  Will there be a “reverse” migration? US unemployed workers migrating to Asia to be employed in “outsourcing” such as “call antex”?

    Incorporate this into course outcomes where appropriate- Each SAC will determine this.
    I would also suggest that we design and provide workshops through the TLC to gain a deeper and richer understanding of the issues.
  13. What is commitment to sabbaticals from management in the next few years?  In particular, how many will be granted, both full and part year?

    There is a Sabbatical Committee reviewing each proposal and will advise me in making the selection. This budget is not as large as we would like and there were cuts to this budget over a 2-3 year period.  I have been advised by the Budget Office that there will be no cuts for this year.  The amount of time requested by faculty will directly impact the number of sabbaticals we are able to award.
  14. Some departments will want to limit the size of the waitlist to a size smaller than class size for various reasons.  Will this be permitted? (I strongly believe it should be to provide the diverse departments flexibility on use of this tool!)

    The waitlist prior to Winter Term did not work well for faculty and students.  This tool is intended to fill classes in a more efficient manner.  It is also intended to help Department Chairs and Deans determine need/demand.  It will be a great help in our academic planning and, hopefully, will direct discussions in the future concerning efficiency in enrollments and student retention.  As with any new procedure, it will have its challenges and opportunities – remember the airplane.  It will be turned on in the next 24 hours – I would greatly appreciate your patience and cooperation. 

 

I wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!!